The 1950s will be remembered as a decade of baby boomers and Cold War tactics. The automotive industry experienced a revival, with cars becoming influenced by the aviation industry. Chrome, curves and tailfins were features of the ‘50s. Music tastes were also changing, with rock and roll and R&B dominating the decade. Acts like Jackie Brenston And The Delta Cats were redefining mainstream music, which set the trend for years to come.
Rev-Up Radio is a series that combines cars and music to create a sense of nostalgia for a certain era. It features a list of car-related songs. To honour the importance of the 1950s, here are tracks that can be considered a blast from the past.
Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston And The Delta Cats
Considered to be the first rock and roll record, Rocket 88 was released in 1951. The song is dedicated to praising The Oldsmobile 88, which had been introduced in 1949. The track features one of the first examples of fuzz guitar ever recorded, played by guitarist Willie Kizart. Rocket 88 is a piece of history that’s credited as inspiring an entire genre of music.
Beep Beep by The Playmates
Beep Beep depicts a competition between drivers of a Cadillac and Nash Rambler. It’s an interesting track because it has an accelerando tempo, meaning the pace increases at the same time both cars speed up on each verse.
Hot Rod Race by Arkie Shibley
Hot Rod Race is a song about a race in San Pedro between a Ford and Mercury, released in 1950. The music has a country vibe that would be ideal for playing on a summer day.
Gas Money by Jan and Arnie
We’ve all had that moment when we remember we have to fill up on petrol, and Gas Money by Jan & Arnie is a good reminder of it. The rock duo were pioneers of the California Sound music style, popularised later by the Beach Boys. The song personifies the shiny, new feel of 1950s motors like the Corvette.
Buick 59 by The Medallions
Even in the ‘50s, Buicks were some of the most desirable cars on the market, with the Roadmaster being a popular choice. Fans of the make will appreciate Buick 59, sang by Vernon Green and The Medallions. The song talks about how impressive the Buick is, from the “eight cylinder motor” to the “jet propelled overdrive.”
A House, A Car And A Wedding Ring by Mike Preston
Sang by Mike Preston, A House, A Car And A Wedding Ring, is a song about finding the right person and settling down. It sums up the attitude of the era, where marrying young and starting a family were seen as the norm. The song has a romantic quality that can be applied to the modern day. There comes a time where we all want to settle down, and having the certainty of loving someone is a wonderful experience.